The Securities and Exchange Commission has said that over N30bn has so far been paid to investors in the Nigerian capital market from the backlog of unclaimed dividends.
As a means to further reduce the unclaimed dividends profile and curb its growth in the country, the commission assured the investing public that it would continue to underwrite the cost of electronic dividend enrolment till June 30, 2017.
SEC in a statement said, “With a view to ensuring all investors benefit from the e-dividend programme free of charge, SEC had committed to pay the cost of enrolment throughout the year 2016, and had resulted in getting about 48 per cent of investors to enroll for the e-dividend payments. Arising from this exercise, over N30bn, which was hitherto unclaimed, had so far been credited to respective bank accounts of investors.
“Therefore, the advantage of the e-dividend is not only to enable investors collect subsequent dividends electronically but it allows all accrued dividends to be credited to investors’ bank accounts.
“The commission has however observed with concern the challenges being experienced by investors in the course of the e-dividend registration and therefore commits to further defray the cost of registration till June 30, 2017 to enable investors continue to enjoy the free registration.”
SEC also reminded the investing public that at the expiration of the free registration period, dividend warrants would no longer be issued as it would be replaced with electronic dividend payments.
This decision, it noted, underscored the commission’s strong focus on market development and enhancement of investor confidence.
The commission added, “All investors in the Nigerian capital market are therefore advised to take advantage of this extended grace period by approaching their bankers or registrars for enrolment before the deadline.”
The e-dividend payment platform was introduced to address the rising incidences of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.